Stoked To Be Back: Landshark Tandem

Stoked To Be Back: Landshark Tandem

While John Slawta’s Landshark frames are most well-known for their iconoclastic paintworks, applied by John himself, this tandem was asked to be painted white by its owner, mainly to show off John’s masterly construction.

Stoked To Be Back: Landshark Tandem

A thin steel tube is not the easiest canvas for an artist to work with, but given the respect his frames and his paintwork garner, John can look back on a successful career as much as an artist as a builder.

Stoked To Be Back: Landshark Tandem

This tandem has a colorful story, however, despite its minimal decoration. James Wilson is the Founder, Principal, and Creative Director of Overdrive (Design Limited), a branding, interactive and communications agency based in Ontario.

As a result of a calamitous collision with a metal bridge deck when he was 31 which he was not at fault for, and the ensuing payout, James contracted John to build him a Landshark tandem for himself and his girlfriend.

Stoked To Be Back: Landshark Tandem

There were a couple of other bikes in James’ stable: a pearl pink Olmo and a rosso corsa Pinarello Montello SLX. His sense of aesthetics took over and white was chosen as the colour for the third stablemate.

Stoked To Be Back: Landshark Tandem

There were other considerations also, like the fact that James is a passionate Campagnista — the Olmo and Pinarello both were equipped with SR gruppos, and a white frame would best display the component’s forms. Although, as Campy was not making a tandem crankset, he had one custom milled.

Stoked To Be Back: Landshark Tandem

John Slawta is best known for his gregarious and iconoclastic paint, but he is also a fine craftsman, and James felt a white frame would also show of his work. Which is completely on point — that head tube junction is as smooth as butter.

The placement of the pointing pirate is poignant, as is the skull on the seat tube which warns “Follow at your peril”… “I had the frame built small (52cm versus my normal 54.5cm),” James tells us, “so that it would be stiff and also accommodate my girlfriend at the time who was only 5’3”.

Stoked To Be Back: Landshark Tandem

James continues: “To compensate for this I had the front position built with a proportionately longer top tube and had a custom seat post built, that not only went up but allowed the seat to slide back and forth inside a 4” track, which could then easily accommodate a 6′ stoker.

“Of course, this put a tall stoker in a slightly unique position behind the rear bottom bracket. But I never heard any complaints, especially when you’re effortlessly cruising at 50kmh, having a nice little chat and simultaneously deep-sixing the peloton.”

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Big thanks to Justin Morris for the photos.

Stoked To Be Back: Landshark Tandem